The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’s interdisciplinary MFA in Visual Art (MFA-VA) program offers students a site for rigorous inquiry, intellectual generosity, and professional preparedness.

“A good artwork is meandering and inefficient while a good graduate curriculum is clear and concise. Our curriculum holds both things in balance,” explains Professor Jack Risley. “In the two-year timeline, it is possible to both get lost inside your work and bring lucid introspection to your practice.”

Interdisciplinary Curriculum
Guided by faculty members, MFA-VA students work independently and participate in rigorous weekly critiques. As part of Washington University in St. Louis, a tier-one research university, students enroll in studio and academic electives to inform their research interests while participating in workshops to build essential skills.

MFA-VA studios are in Weil Hall, a LEED-Platinum facility. Students can access specialized spaces for making, including a 3D digital fabrication lab, a textile studio, an expansive printmaking suite — home to Island Press and the Kranzberg Book Studio. Studios are adjacent to the Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, which is the site for the annual MFA-VA Thesis Exhibition.

St. Louis is both an extension of the studio and a site of engagement for artists through the school’s Office for Socially Engaged Practice.

Faculty, Visiting Lecturers, Critics
The program’s core faculty are: Lisa Bulawsky (chair), Jamie Adams, Heather Bennett, Amy Hauft, Meghan Kirkwood, Arny Nadler, Patricia Olynyk, Tim Portlock, Jack Risley, Denise Ward-Brown, Cheryl Wassenaar, and Monika Weiss.

The MFA-VA program also invites visiting artists, critics, theorists, and distinguished guests to campus to review students’ exhibitions and conduct studio visits. Fall 2022 visitors include Derrick Adams, David Campany, Katharina Grosse, Meleko Mokgosi, Shana Moulton, and Shaun O’Dell.

To learn more about the MFA-VA program, visit and attend the virtual open house on November 7, 3:30pm (CT).